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#1 Baseball Hosts Coca-Cola Classic in Tempe and Surprise
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 02/27/2008
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Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
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Feb. 27, 2008

TEMPE, Ariz. -

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Leading Off:

After sweeping through the DeMarini Invitational last weekend, Arizona State continues the 2008 season by hosting the 6th Annual Coca-Cola Classic. ASU will take on Michigan in Tempe before heading to Surprise to face Hawai'i and Michigan on Friday and Saturday. The Devils will round out the weekend on Sunday afternoon, hosting Portland back in Tempe.

 

The Coca-Cola Classic:

The 6th Annual Coca-Cola Classic will, for the first time, be played at two different locations. Both Surprise Stadium and Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark will host games featuring top ranked Arizona State, defending Big Ten Champion #10 Michigan, Hawai'i, Portland and Northern Illinois.

 

Helping Hand:

Coca-Cola, the City of Surprise, the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals, ASU, Hawai'i and Portland all came together to invite the Northern Illinois Huskies to join the Coca-Cola Classic field this week. NIU was forced to cancel their scheduled games last weekend after the tragic shootings that took place on their campus, but with the help of the aforementioned parties, the Huskies will be able to make up two of the games they had to cancel, facing Hawai'i and Portland at Surprise Stadium on Thursday.

 

Devils vs. Michigan:

Arizona State is 31-12 all-time against the Michigan Wolverines. The two teams have not squared off since 1994, when ASU swept a three game series in Tempe.

 

Devils vs. Hawai'i:

The Sun Devils are 25-18 all-time against the Rainbows. ASU beat Hawai'i 9-2 in Tempe last year.

 

Devils vs. Portland:

ASU holds a 2-0 lead in the all-time series agains the Portland Pilots. The Sun Devils won both match-ups in Tempe during the 2002 season.

 

Rankings:

Arizona State is ranked #1 by Rivals.com, Collegiate Baseball, the USA Today Coaches Poll and the NCBWA. Baseball America ranks the Devils #6.

 

DeMarini Invitational Recap:

The Sun Devils flexed their muscles in the opening weekend of the 2008 season, dominating the DeMarini Invitational. They got off to a slow start on Friday night against the Miami Redhawks, but behind a strong out from Josh Satow they shut out the RedHawks and picked up the 8-0 win. The bats were on display on Saturday against #3 Vanderbilt, as the Devils jumped out to a 12-0 lead on their way to a 18-6 win. Brett Wallace homered twice, including a grand slam, and drove in seven runs to lead ASU to the win. Wallace started Sunday's game with #7 Oregon State off strong, leading off with a homer that was the catalyst to a seven run first inning. That was more than enough for freshman starter Seth Blair, who threw four scoreless innings to pick up the win in the 11-0 victory over the Beavers.

 

Still Wally's World:

Junior Brett Wallace started off the 2008 season with a bang, going 5-12 (.417) with three homers and nine RBI. He also scored seven runs and walked three times, leading the Devils to a sweep of the DeMarini Invitational. He homered twice on Saturday, including his first career grand slam. His seven RBI against the Commodores tied his career high, which he set last season against Arizona. His lead off homer was the second one of his career. He also led off the game with a round-tripper against Missouri on February 16 last year. Wallace has hit out of the lead off slot in 16 career games, batting .508 (33-65) with eight homers.

 

Dynamic Debuts:

Several Sun Devils had memorable first weekends in Maroon and Gold. Sophomore outfielder Jason Kipnis batted .400, hit two home runs, drove in five and also made a spectacular play in centerfield. Freshman outfielder Matt Newman hit .444 in his first collegiate weekend. Junior shortstop Marcel Champagnie drove in four runs and scored five times, while freshman righty Seth Blair threw four shutout innings on Sunday to pick up his first career victory.

 

All-Tournament Honors:

Four Sun Devils earned All-DeMarini Invitational Team honors, led by the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, Brett Wallace. Jason Kipnis, Matt Newman and Josh Satow were also named to the team.

 

Pac-10 Player of the Week:

Brett Wallace was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week for his efforts over opening weekend. It is the second time in his career he has won the award.

 

Family Matters:

Freshman OF/LHP Matt Newman has Maroon and Gold in his blood. His father, Randy, was a pitcher for the Sun Devils in 1981 and 1982, winning 15 career games and the 1981 National Championship. Freshman catcher Andrew Pollak is the brother of former Sun Devil football great Mike Pollak, who played center for the Devils from 2004 to 2007. Mike was a two-time All-Pac-10 performer. Andrew wears number 76, the same number Mike wore on the gridiron. UTL Mike Murphy is no relation to head coach Pat Murphy, although he is the first player named Murphy Pat Murphy has ever coached. New assistant coach Josh Holliday is the son of former Oklahoma State head baseball coach Tom Holliday and the brother of current Colorado Rockies outfielder Matt Holliday.

 

2008 Pre-Season Honors:

ASU has several pre-season All-Americans on its roster. Brett Wallace and Josh Satow were both named First Teamers by the NCBWA as well as Collegiate Baseball. Petey Paramore joined them on the NCBWA list. Mike Leake was named a Second Team selection by both the NCBWA and Collegiate Baseball. Kiel Roling was named to the Second Team by the NCBWA. Ike Davis was a Third Team selection by both the NCBWA and Collegiate Baseball. Wallace, Davis and Paramore were all named Second Teamers by Baseball America.

 

Pac-10 Picks:

The Sun Devils were picked to finish second in the Pac-10 in the annual preseason coaches poll. ASU got three first place votes, while Arizona was picked to win with six first place votes. Arizona State won the Pac-10 last season. Arizona finished second.

 

Golden Spikes Watch List:

Ike Davis, Petey Paramore and Brett Wallace have all been named to the 2008 Golden Spikes Award Watch List. ASU has had three Golden Spikes winners, Bob Horner, Odibe McDowell and Mike Kelly.

 

Wallace Award Watch List:

Arizona State leads all schools with five players on the Wallace Award Watch List. Brett Wallace, Jason Jarvis, Josh Satow, Mike Leake and Petey Paramore are all on the initial list. Wallace was Semi-Finalist for the award last season.

 

Stopper Watch List:

Closer Jason Jarvis was named to the NCBWA Preseason Stopper of the Year Watch List. Jarvis set an ASU freshman record with 11 saves in 2007.

 

Ay Ay Captain:

Head coach Pat Murphy has named junior catcher Petey Paramore as the captain of the 2008 Sun Devils. Rocky Laguna served as captain last season.

 

Consistency In The New Millennium:

Since the 2000 season, Pat Murphy and the Arizona State Sun Devils have been the most consistent program in the Pac-10 conference. Since 2000, ASU leads the Pac-10 in wins (341), conference wins (123), NCAA Tournament appearances (8), Top 25 finishes (8), First Team All-Pac-10 players (30) and All-Americans (21).

 

Fandemonium:

Not only were the 2008 Sun Devils dominant on the field at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark, but they were dominant at the turnstyles as well. The Devils went 35-3 at home and led the West Coast in attendance for the third straight season. 116,205 fans came out to see the Sun Devils in 2007, the highest attendance since 1984. ASU finished 17th nationally in average attendance, averaging 3,141 fans per game. The fans showed up in huge numbers during opening weekend, as the DeMarini Invitational drew 10,083 fans for an average of 3,361.

 

Coach Murphy Honored:

Pat Murphy has been inducted into the Florida Atlantic University Baseball Hall of Fame. Murphy played for the Owls from 1981 to 1982, then coached three years at the school.

 

Tournaments:

The Sun Devils will host three tournaments in 2008. The DeMarini Invitational with Vanderbilt, Oregon State and Miami,OH was last week. The 6th Annual Coca-Cola Classic, featuring ASU, Hawai'i, Michigan, Portland and Northern Illinois, takes place this weekend, with games being played in both Surprise and Tempe. The Devils will also host the Bob Schaefer Memorial Tournament in March, facing Florida International, Northern Colorado and UC Irvine.

 

Schedule Strength:

Arizona State will once again face one of the toughest schedules in the country this season. ASU will play three teams (Oregon State, UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton) that went to Omaha last year, in addition to Super Regional teams Wichita State, Michigan and UCLA.

 

Inter-Conference Battles:

In addition to facing the schools in the Pac-10, the Devils will also take on teams from 11 different conferences in 2008. ASU will face two teams from the SEC (Arkansas, Vanderbilt), two from the Big West (Cal State Fullerton, UC Irvine), two from the Sun Belt (Troy, Florida International), two from the Western Athletic (New Mexico, Hawai'i), two from the West Coast Conference (Portland, Loyola Marymount) and one each from the Big 12 (Kansas State), Atlantic 10 (UMass), Mid-American (Miami,Ohio), Big 10 (Michigan), Missouri Valley (Wichita State) and Southern (Wofford). ASU will also face Northern Colorado, who is an independent.

 

Honoring Pat Tillman:

Former ASU football player and American Hero Pat Tillman had strong ties to the ASU Baseball program. In addition to his brother Kevin playing for ASU, Pat became extremely close with head coach Pat Murphy. Murphy wears jersey #42 in honor of Tillman, and in January 2007, Murph donated $100,000 to the baseball program for the construction of the Tillman Training Room, a room that will honor both Pat and Kevin and their commitment to both Arizona State University and the United States of America. The team wears a memorial "PT*42" patch on their jerseys in honor of Pat.

 

Did You Know:

The Arizona State/Michigan baseball rivalry dates  back all the way to 1960, ASU's second year of varsity baseball. The Devils and Wolverines first met on the diamond on March 28, 1960, with ASU winning 7-2.

 

Up Next:

The Devils will play their first set of mid-week games, hosting New Mexico on Tuesday and Wednesday. Then they welcome UMass in for a weekend series at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark

 

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